The Delhi Police arrested Rakesh Goel, the owner of Hotel Arpit Palace.
New Delhi, February 17, 2019 –
Rakesh Goel, the owner of the hotel in Karol Bagh where an inferno claimed the lives of 17 people on 12 February, will be produced in court on Sunday.
The Delhi Police arrested Goel on Saturday.
“The Crime Branch has arrested Rakesh Goel, the owner of hotel Arpit Palace. He shall be produced in court today,” DCP Rajesh Deo said.
Goel was reportedly arrested from the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport after the police received a tip-off that he was trying to fly out of India.
Reports say that the police learned that Goel was travelling from Qatar by Indigo flight 6E 1702. He was arrested after brief questioning.
A lookout circular was issued against Goel and his brother Shardendu Goel by the Crime Branch on Thursday. Immigration officers were alerted that the two are wanted by the police.
At least 17 people including a child lost their lives in a massive fire that broke out in a Karol Bagh hotel in central Delhi in the early hours of Tuesday. Most of the deaths took place due to suffocation, the police said.
Hotel Arpit Palace is located on the Gurudwara Road in Karol Bagh.
As many as 25 fire tenders were rushed to the spot, and at least 35 people were rescued from the five-storey building, it is learnt.
Most people staying in the Karol Bagh hotel were sleeping when the fire broke out. Eyewitnesses said several people jumped out of the upper floors to save their lives.
The five-floor hotel, located at Delhi’s busy commercial centre Karol Bagh, comes under the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC).
The AAP, which rules Delhi, has blamed the civic body for allegedly allowing the hotel to build an extra floor and structures above four floors to operate a rooftop restaurant-cum-bar.
The Delhi government has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the horrific incident, one of the worst fire disasters in the national capital.
The hotel is alleged to have violated various building rules and fire safety norms apparently in collusion with officials of various departments concerned.
On the defensive, the North Corporation has also constituted a committee to inquire into the fire incident, promising strong action against those found guilty.